Sausage with Cajun Alfredo

Sausagewithcajunalfredo

I feel like a genius after having made this dinner. This only came about because I thought I had everything I needed for dinner…until time to make dinner and it turns out I had about half. Half one one recipe and half of another.

My first reaction was panic. I’m not usually the “wing it” cook. But, I knew the two recipes well enough that I thought I could mix it. Of course, when Hubs asked what was for dinner I answered with a  “we’ll see!” Turns out, it was a blessing for our tummies!

So I combined my Sausage Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce (cajun style) with my Cheesy Garlic Chicken Alfredo.

Sausage Cajun Alfredo

You’ll need:

 

 

For the Alfredo:
2 cups milk
4 ounces cream cheese (1/2 a block)
2 Tbs flour
½ tsp salt
3 Tbs butter
1 cup grated Mozzarella cheese ( or Cheddar!)20160516_171323.jpg

For the Sausage pasta:
8+ ounces penne pasta (or whatever you prefer, I used small shells)
12 oz smoked sausage or Chicken!
14-oz can petite diced tomatoes with onion, drained well
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1-2 Tablespoons cajun seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste

What to do:

First, I started my pasta cooking and then made the Alfredo just as I do for the regular recipe:

Use a mixer or blender to mix together the milk, flour, salt, and cream cheese until it is smooth. I also added butter to this mix and heated it until it thickens then added the shredded cheese and let it sit.

Then, while those two were going, I sliced up my sausage and sautéed it and then added my tomatoes and onion, garlic and cajun spices, and a little S&P. Mix well

Finally, once my Alfredo was ready I slowly stirred it into my pan of sausage. making sure to coat everything and mix in the cajun spice. Then I added the pasta and mixed again.

This was one of the best outcomes of not having what you need!! This mix may be one of my favorites!

Ham, Potato, & Corn Chowder

HamPotatoandcornchowder

Ham, Potato, & Corn Chowder! This soup is a filling meal that is good for the soul! Hubby loves it so much it had to become a staple in our dinner rotation. I got this recipe from a dear friend, but there are many like it on Pinterest like this one from Like Mother Like Daughter.

You’ll need:

2 cups cooked ham, diced
6 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
5 1/2 tbsp butter, divided (1 1/2 & 4)
1 large onion, diced
2 large carrots, peeled and diced (I prefer to use baby carrots diced)
3 stalks celery, chopped
5 cups chicken broth
5 medium potatoes, diced
1 can corn
1/4 cup & 1 TBSP Flour
3 cups milk
1/2 cup sour cream
Salt and pepper to taste
Chives and shredded cheese to top

What to do:

In a large pot, melt 1 1/2 tbsp butter over medium heat. Add onion, celery, and carrots, sauté until tender.

Add chicken broth and potatoes. Salt and pepper to taste (I under salt a bit as ham adds salt). Bring mixture to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cook until potatoes are tender. Stir in ham and corn.

Cook your bacon. I love to cook it in the oven. I cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil and lay out my strips. I bake it at 400 degrees for about 20-25 min. I love that it will cook while I prepare the rest of the meal.20160520_184624.jpg

In separate sauce pan, melt 4 tbsp butter. Add flour and whisk until combined well. Slowly whisk in milk. Bring to a boil and cook until sauce thickens. Remove from heat and add sour cream. 

Add this mixture to the broth and stir. Simmer a couple minutes until heated through. Serve topped with shredded cheese & bacon! Would also be yummy with some green onion! The leftovers of this are so good!!!!

Cajun Sausage and Potatoes

Cajun Sausage and Potatoes

Cajun Sausage and Potatoes. Well, that’s my version. The original pin came from Recipes from the Big Blue Binder. Their post was for Oven Roasted Sausage and Potatoes. YUM! Over time mine has evolved a bit as you’ll see below.

This is a hearty meal. You can really kick it up in spice or keep it mellow.

You’ll need:

1 package of smoked sausage (slice into rounds, I like to also half the rounds)

1 large onion, peeled and chopped (I typically use half an onion)

5 large potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch cubes (I usually use 3-4 potatoes and slice then quarter)

Olive oil

Sea salt

Ground black pepper

Sweet paprika*

Dried thyme*

About a cup grated cheddar cheese

          *in lieu of these two ingredients I use a cajun blend20160502_162044.jpg

Get started:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a 13×9 baking dish with aluminum foil. They suggest drizzling oil over the aluminum foil. I like to just spray with cooking spray.

Then you want to chop chop chop. I like to add thing into a bowl in layers. A little oil and onion with some Cajun mix and the S&P.20160502_162143.jpg

Then add in some potatoes and mix adding extra seasoning/oil as needed to coat. Repeat until onion and potatoes are chopped and added to your mixing bowl and everything is coated.

I cut up my sausage and before adding it to the baking dish, I drizzle a little oil over it and add the Cajun, salt, and pepper spices to it. 20160502_163509.jpg20160502_163709.jpg20160502_163758.jpg

Then I spread it out in the baking dish.

Over that, spread the potato and onion mix and give it all a light mix.

You’ll then bake it for about 45 minutes giving it a stir several times while it cooks.

Last sprinkle your cheddar cheese over the top and let it bake a few minutes more until the cheese is melted.

Serve and enjoy!

 

Pepper Jack Chicken Stuffing

Pepper Jack Chicken Stuffing final

Every time I make this I always think about the movie Steel Magnolias. Annelle wants to make something that “freezes beautifully.” While I think she had something else in mind,  this is my beautiful.
Not only is this delightful and fulfilling like comfort food,  but it freezes beautifully!  I usually make two at a time,  one for dinner and one to freeze.
Plus,  it fits all my other requirements like,  easy and fast. It’s a win win.
I found this pin from Or So She Says for the Swiss Cheese Chicken. (Click there for their recipe) below is my variation that we really enjoy. Did I say this was easy?

image

All you need: (just double for 2)
1lb chicken breast
1 can Cream of chicken soup
1/4 cup milk
Stove Top Stuffing of choice (one box is enough for two since you only use half)
1/4 cup of butter
Pepper Jack cheese slices, the original uses swiss cheese slices (both are yummy)

I spray both my freezer pan and glass dish with cooking spray first. Then put my chicken down.

image

Next you want to layer the cheese slices on the chicken.  Four slices work for me in my 8×8 pan,  but I sometimes add one or two more.

image

Now you want to combine the milk and can of Cream of Chicken.  I do one at a time just to make it easier. Combine one,  add it on top of the cheese,  combine one and to the other. It looks like yummy cake batter pouring out over the cheese. Just spread it around to fully cover the pan.

image

image

image

Here is where you split. If making two, cover your dish you’re freezing,  label, and add directions of how to finish.

image

To the other you now add half of a package of stuffing and then pour 1/4 cup melted butter on that. Pop it into the oven for 45-60 minutes at 350°.

image

I usually let it cook for the full hour.
Serve it over rice and voila, wonderful dinner that you made 2 of, in about 10 minutes of prep time!
I have also made this with a small bag of frozen broccoli under the cream of chicken mix. It’s a good way to get your veggies in!

image

image

Crockpot Cream Cheese Chicken “Chili”

Cream Cheese Chicken Chili final

This was one of my first pins that actually turned out so delicious I had to keep making it. This is so good I make it just about weekly.

I love to use the Crock pot. I always feel like I’ve made a gourmet meal with minimal effort. Which, with an almost three year old and a 7 month old, makes me feel like super mom. The original post serves this yumminess over rice. At our house we prefer to make taco out of it. Some times lettuce tacos, as the hubby prefers, but usually of the flour variety. So layer the tortilla with some cheese, sour cream, shredded lettuce, maybe even some salsa or guac, and this chili mix and you’ve got a tex mex meal that REALLY satisfies! Best of all it makes for a great lunch the next day! The best meals are the ones that are better the next day!

Here is the link to Rita’s Recipes or keep reading for mine!

Ingredients:

1 can Rotel tomatoes

1 can corn kernels, do not drain

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 pkg. Ranch dressing mix

1 T cumin

1 t chili powder

1 t onion powder

1 8-oz pkg. cream cheese

2 chicken breasts, still frozen

Instruction:

20151112_132101

1. Add all ingredients except chicken and cream cheese. Combine and give a good stir.

2.Add chicken and “bury”  in the pot.

3.Add cream cheese to top.

4.Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours (less if chicken is not frozen.

5.About 20 min before serving pull out and shred the chicken. Give the mix a good stir to combine the cream cheese then add the shredded chicken back to mix.

6.Serve over rice as suggested or my way with tortillas and toppings!

20151112_132427 20151112_132509 20151112_132737 20151112_172647 20151112_180746 (1)

Outstanding Sausage Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce!

Being 8 months pregnant, I’ve had constant cravings. Nothing weird or even odd combinations, but rather for specific foods. I went through a 2 week span of wanting lasagna. That soon morphed into a desire for desserts…hot fudge sundaes to be exact. My sweet husband has endured all the changes and even indulged me in the week of only fast food and eating out because I couldn’t stand the smells of cooking in the kitchen.

Although I’ve had a beastly heartburn problem lately, I still love my saucy pastas and spicy foods. I was so excited when I came across this pin. It was everything I wanted and then some. I started to follow this great blog, South Your Mouth written by Mandy Rivers. You can hear the southern in her writing and it makes me feel at home. Plus it doesn’t hurt that I can barely make it through reading a recipe without drooling.

This is my second time making this and my result is a bit different, but on purpose! The changes I made were due to wanting to eat this but not having her exact ingredients on hand at the time and I liked it so much I just went with it again. But isn’t that part of the fun of cooking? You can make alterations that you’d prefer or just to work with what you have! Next time I’m going to use cajun sausage! But trust me folks, this is so good! It fits all of the most important criteria: fast, easy, delicious, and better reheated! You can find the link to her recipe here, mine, with alterations, is below.

Sausage Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce

Sausage and tomato pasta final

 

8+ ounces penne pasta (or whatever you prefer)

12 oz smoked sausage

2 14-oz can petite diced tomatoes, drained well

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 pint (2 cups) heavy cream

1/4 cup mozzarella cheese

Directions:

1. Cook pasta per manufacturer’s instructions for al dente preparation then drain well.

2. I sliced the sausage and threw into a hot deep skillet, with a little water for a good browning while the pasta cooked.

If you use some other meat and need to drain fat or some of your water do so now after everything is browned and yummy.

20150318_172019

3. Add drained tomatoes, oregano, garlic powder and salt and stir well. Add cream and bring to a slight boil.

20150318_173552

20150318_173854 20150318_174130

4. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, for 8-10 (I usually do 10 or 12ish) minutes or until sauce is reduced and thickened. Add cheese a little at a time to blend it in.

5. Remove skillet from heat then add cooked pasta. Stir well to combine then serve.

20150318_180143 20150318_180159

UPDATE! Last night as I didn’t have the usual ingredients to make this, I substituted with wonderful results. I used small shells instead of penne, 1 can diced tomatoes with onion instead of 2, cheddar cheese instead of mozz, and added CAJUN seasoning!!!! SO SO GOOD! My leftovers for lunch today were so good I had to have seconds!

Teriyaki Chicken

Teriyaki Chicken Final

Anyone who knows me is fully aware of my addiction to Mexican and Chinese/Japanese food.  Thus, it is my passion to find recipes that will satisfy my thirst for these foods with out having to go out to eat.  While my Mexican Stuffed Shells (and soon to post enchiladas) fit the bill for my Mexican food fix, I had yet to find something for the latter. Enter teriyaki chicken!! I had tried several different recipes before, none worth posting about. They always lacked that certain something. I believe it’s all about the sauce and this sauce is unbelievable. I guess the recipe in total is mine, however, the teriyaki sauce is from Food.com.

Ingredients:

1lb chicken (I buy the lean thin cut chicken as a time saver)

Soy Sauce

Rice (white or brown, I used white rice)

Sauce:

1/4 cup soy sauce
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (didn’t have it this time but was still delish)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
5 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 -2 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water

1. Start the sauce and get it simmering over a low heat. Mix all but cornstarch and 1/4c water in a sauce pan and begin heating. Mix cornstarch and cold water in a bowl and dissolve. Add to sauce in pan. I like to bring it to a boil first then let it simmer on low while I prepare the rest of the meal. Stir occasionally as you cook the chicken.

DSC02461 DSC02441

2.  Cut up the chicken into bite size pieces.

DSC02443

 

3. Cook the chicken in a little bit of soy sauce.

DSC02445 DSC02446

4. Remove the sauce from heat and let stand. It will thicken. This is when I prepare the minute rice, because why not make it as easy as possible? One cup of rice, one cup of boiling water, let stand and voila! 2 servings of rice.

5. Add rice to plate.

DSC02449

 

6. Add chicken to rice.

DSC02452 DSC02457

 

7. Top with your sauce and enjoy! I won’t be ordering take out as long as I can make this goodie!

DSC02459 DSC02460